Julie Freedman Smith & Gail Bell

Julie Freedman Smith and Gail Bell provide tools for real life parenting through their company, Parenting Power™. Using over 40 years of combined experience, they work with parents across the country through telephone coaching and teleconferences to ease the stress and guilt of parents while providing practical solutions to everyday parenting challenges. Visit www.parentingpower.ca to ask your own parenting questions, and learn how to receive 20% off all services as a Parenting Power Member!
How do I teach my child to choose healthy snacks?
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The data is out there: we need to cut back on the junk food. So how do we make that happen in our own homes? Here are five ways to make sure that your child develops healthy eating habits.

  1. Decide what foods you want fuelling your child’s body. Once you know, it is easier to decide what fits and what should be left out (at least most of the time).
  2. Now it is time to get your little one in on the action. Let’s imagine that you’ve decided that five servings of fruit and vegetables will make up a portion of your child’s diet. Create a chart on the fridge with five spaces so that your child can keep track when choosing a snack.
  3. With your youngster, brainstorm a list of snacks that include those fruits, veggies, healthy proteins or whatever else you’ve chosen.
  4. When your child is ready for a snack, have them choose from their list of healthy snacks that they helped to make. Look at the check list together to determine what they need for a healthy snack today.
  5. What about sweets? Decide when those should happen as well and add them to the chart. Once you have made the decision, it is easier for everyone to stick to it. An example might be: one sweet treat on Saturdays and Sundays, or one sweet item per day after lunch. Once you’ve made a decision, make sure everyone knows it and stick to your decision. When we say what we mean and follow through, our kids don’t have to test us over and over again. That’s easier for everyone!

When we involve our kids in the process of brainstorming healthy snacks, deciding what fuel our body needs and choosing within those parameters, we know that we are teaching them that they are capable of making healthy choices on their own.

Image of child with apple from Shutterstock.

Comments | Tagged under health, snacks, wellness
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No More Sore Losers
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Have you ever let your child win a game because it was just easier than letting them lose? The world loves a winner and why wouldn’t we want our child to feel like a winner?

Actually, there is a reason: this is Real Life and our child won’t always be a winner.  It is important that your child learn how to win and lose with grace.

When kids are sore losers, or rude winners, other children don’t like playing with them. One of our parenting jobs is allowing our kids to lose and learn that they can get through it. Here are 3 tips to make that happen:

  1. Plan the end of the game before you start playing. Before you start that game of checkers, have the following conversation: ‘At the end of this game, someone is going to win and someone is going to lose. The last time you lost, there was lots of screaming. What will you say this time when you feel sad? What will you say if you win?’
  2. About 2 minutes before the end of the game, review the plan. Practice what will be said: ‘If you win, you are going to say ‘Great game mom, thanks for playing!’ If you lose, you will say ‘I wish that I had won, thanks for the game of checkers.’  If you feel like you need to, you can do 5 jumping jacks to get your mad out.
  3. Start a new habit. Make the game more about playing than winning or losing. At the end of the game, begin a tradition of everyone saying, ‘Thanks for playing with me!’  You might all shake hands, have a group hug or just high five.  Show your child that all players—win or lose—can enjoy playing the game.

Image of sore loser from Shutterstock.

Comments | Tagged under play, manners
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